The Dismal Science: Economy Thread 2

Discussion in 'PlanetSide 2 Gameplay Discussion' started by WTSherman, Apr 16, 2016.

  1. WTSherman

    With the base building system arriving soon, this seems like a good time to take another look at the idea of an economy in Planetside 2. My original economy/logistics thread is lost to the sands of time (RIP suggestion subforum), but the upcoming base-building system puts us much closer to achieving its vision than we were then.

    As a breif recap, the goal was to unify the resource system around a core resource that could support building small bases, could be harvested by players to fuel the war effort, and that would provide a unified system of value that would tie together everything that we can pull, equip, or deploy. The construction system is a major step forward for these goals, but it is as yet incomplete.

    With that goal in mind, let's get this monster of a post started.

    The next step in creating a unified resource system would be to link Nanites and Cortium together. A (currently minor) problem facing the construction system is also that we need a way to prevent greifers or fourth-faction from draining silos by spamming unnecessary structures. Together, these two problems suggest an expedient solution: make Nanites represent the amount of Cortium you are authorized to pull at that time.

    This means that no one person would be able to drain a Cortium silo, because they would deplete their own Nanite reserves first. It also means that Nanites would no longer represent an infinite free resource, but instead your personal share of hard-earned Cortium. A share that obviously will be of little worth if the Cortium runs out, allowing local resource depletion to have real consequences.

    Obviously Nanite reserves and Nanite prices would have to be adjusted to correspond to Cortium prices, since as it stands you can't build much of a base with 750 Cortium. A straightforward way to do it would be to declare an exchange rate of 1 nanite=10 Cortium (since all Cortium prices are multiples of 10 right now, this wouldn't run into any problems), then no other changes would have to be made since 7500 Cortium plus 500 per nanite tick is easily enough to make your contribution to a base.

    However, a more comprehensive solution would be to take the integration as an opportunity to rework the Nanite system.

    Nanite reserves, prices, and income would be increased by a factor of 10, having the same net effect as the exchange rate above, but also giving Nanites more capacity to fine-tune prices with smaller denominations.

    All things that are currently bought with Nanites would be bought with Cortium instead, with Nanites limiting how much Cortium you can pull at once.

    All bases, not just player-built ones, will gain have Cortium silos. Larger bases can hold more. The Warpgate holds significantly more than any base.

    The Warpgate and major facilities (Tech Lab, Amp Station, Bio Lab) regenerate their own Cortium reserves, making them less dependent on manual resupply. Major facilities regenerate at a modest rate, the Warpgate regenerates at a high rate. Depleting the Warpgate should be possible but difficult (and, due to the regeneration, temporary).

    Minor facilities (ie all other permanent bases) take a small cut of the major facilities' regeneration to maintain their own reserves, but don't contribute to overall production themselves. This means that a faction that has taken a lot of territory would have their Cortium production spread thin, and be more dependent on manual resupply. This also helps offset the snowball effect from a faction controlling many major facilities, since the extra income will be offset by extra expenses.

    Certain areas of the map should be designated to have high concentrations of Cortium. This is to facilitate reliable resupply efforts, and provide major points of interest when these areas find themselves near the front lines.

    Major facilities and the Warpgate would have additional "output" terminals on their silos, allowing them to act as convenient resupply points when Cortium is hard to find in the field.

    Finally, the pricing structure for things currently bought with Nanites would be overhauled. Vehicle upgrades, such as Fire Suppression or ES Abilities, would have their own Cortium cost that they add to the cost of the vehicle when equipped. Heavy ammunition (vehicle ammo, infantry anti-vehicle weapons) would cost a small amount of Cortium, between 1 and 25 depending on the weapon. Small arms would be priced per-magazine instead of per bullet, between 1 and 10 per magazine depending on the weapon.

    So for example, under this scheme the base Vanguard chassis might only cost 3000 Cortium. The stock HEAT cannon would cost 250 Cortium plus 20 per shell. The Basilisk would cost 150 Cortium plus 1 per bullet. This would put the price of a stock Vanguard at 4250 Cortium, or the equivalent of 425 present-day Nanites.

    A fully loaded AP Vanguard on the other hand might look something like this:
    Chassis: 3000
    AP cannon: 300
    50 AP rounds: 1250 (25/per)
    Max rank shield: 500
    Max Racer: 250
    Max Stealth: 750
    Enforcer: 250
    168 Enforcer rounds: 840 (5/per)

    Total: 6890

    This means heavily upgraded vehicles would be significantly more expensive than stock vehicles, as befitting their improved performance. The actual difference may not necessarily be so dramatic of course, this is just an example of how the cost can be broken down into components. This is particularly relevant to the Flash, a Wraith Fury Flash under this system would be many times more expensive than a stock Flash.

    Of course, in order for ammunition to have cost, we can't have infinite sources of free ammo laying around. Ammo boxes would have a large but fixed supply of ammo, possibly around 2000 Cortium worth (which would give it the same value as 2 C4 bricks). The ammo box can be refilled at Infantry terminals. Ammo sunderers would carry around 5000 Cortium of vehicle ammo, which can be refilled at an ammo tower just like regular ammo. Ammo towers would draw on their base's Cortium supply. Ammo sunderers would still be useful under this model, since instead of sending ALL your tanks back to the ammo tower, you can just send one Sunderer while all your tanks keep shooting.

    Infantry respawns would have zero base cost, with the catch that they do have to pay for their equipment and ammo. Heavy Assaults and, obviously, anyone with C4 would be pretty expensive to spawn, but should generally be cheaper than vehicles. Things like NWA and Flak armor would likely cost around 50-100 Cortium. Most infantry would generally carry only ~15-25 Cortium worth of small arms ammo (though an HA may be carrying 30-50, plus maybe another 20 or so in rockets). Really the main expense of spawning infantry would be their grenades and mines, which already cost Nanites anyway and would not see their price change.

    To simplify Sunderer operation, a Sunderer's AMS would be linked to the base it was pulled at. This means you probably don't want to pull your AMS from the base you'll have to defend if the attack fails. It also means pulling Sunderers from the Warpgate is a good way to get a nearly unlimited supply of spawns, at the cost of having to drive across the continent. Utilizing squad spawn (beacons, squad spawn vehicles) would likely have to pull resources either from the Warpgate, or from the last friendly base you were in.

    Properly calibrated, this system should never prevent you from playing outright but it *should* impact what you can pull, when, and where. You might have to go a base back. You might have to catch a ride from the Warpgate. You'll always be able to play, but managing resources well will be an advantage.
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  2. XanIves


    Seriously though, this is a great and well thought out idea. It's not balanced of course, but that's why you posted it, to get feedback and suggestions for improvement. This would be great to bring PS2 vehicle back into the whole "sidegrading not upgrading" mindset, as currently a fully kitted Liberator is at least 4x as effective as a stock Liberator, while currently costing the same price.

    This would also lead to more warpgate organizing, because if you wanted to pull an entire platoon's worth of organized vehicles, the warpgate would be the only facility capable of producing that within any sort of reasonable time span.

    Excellent idea, 9.8/10, would implement again. I'm really excited to see what people think on this thread.
  3. Shiaari

    I don't have time at the moment to give your post the thoughtful read it deserves. I'll do that later. Thank you for posting it though, and welcome back Sherman! I haven't seen you around for a long time!
  4. sebastian oscar post

  5. WTSherman

    Thanks, I know it's a really big post. Unfortunately an idea as big as this can't really be condensed without losing a lot of its meaning.

    I'm sure you can tell that it's still a very crude outline and it definitely needs a lot of work, but I'm glad to see positive responses to the general idea. Also I just realized when I was totaling up the example Vanguard I accidentally skipped the cost for Racer (it's in the list, but accidentally got left out of the total). Oh well, I'm sure it gets the concept across at least. :D
  6. GlassItem

    This sounds amazing tactically. It also has the added effect of forcing platoons to split up if they don't want to spend ages going from the warpgate to the front, making logistics and terrain a factor in providing reinforcements to a battle, as well as adding risk to battles and forcing battle tactics to conserve resources. This could really make the game better!

    However, I have a qualm with this. How is leadership going to coordinate these resources? Command chat tends to be a mess, so having proper commanders assigning resources might be a problem.
  7. ColonelChingles

    Scarcity would introduce a whole new element to PS2. It might no longer be an economical decision to drop a full squad of suicidal soldiers onto a point anymore, because the equipment they carry would be a huge cost to their local base as well as their faction. By itself, that would shake up the current meta of throwing warm bodies at a point in hopes that it will eventually fall.
  8. WTSherman

    That's the plan at least. I'm hoping that it would go a long way toward addressing a lot of complaints I've seen about the game. Redeployside would become more difficult, because trying to drop two or three platoons on a spawn room would deplete the base fast. Vehicle zergs (both ground and air) would be more difficult to maintain, because as nearby bases become depleted, vehicles would have to be pulled from further and further away. AV/AA nests would no longer have infinite ammo from a single Engineer, but instead could be countered by taking out their sunderer (though the AV MANA turret would need its ammo capped). It would also add a huge amount of metagame in managing the resource layer, directing platoons based on what resources are available in and around the area you want to go to, and using your resources more efficiently than the enemy.

    It wouldn't completely solve complaints about overpop, the overpop faction would still have a large advantage, but it would be slightly mitigated because every single player isn't a walking factory anymore: their faction has the same resources to work with no matter how large their pop gets, because nanites would no longer be a resource themselves. A faction with more pop can put some of those spare people on harvester duty of course, but at least under this system they can't feed the zerg and be part of the zerg at the same time.

    It would also have a huge impact on vehicle balance, because heavily certed vehicles would be much more expensive than stock vehicles. Which means the resource system would inherently be more forgiving of new players: they can get away with losing their tank more often, because their tank is cheaper. It would also do a lot to address vehicles like the Flash and Sunderer, which can have dramatically different performance depending on what they have equipped. It would allow a basic AMS+shield+basilisk sundy to remain cheap, while a dual-fury max-blockade battle bus can cost roughly as much as a tank.
  9. DeadlyOmen

    I am all for it.

    Unfortunately, we've got a forum population that can't even hack the weaponry or international flavor of the community. It would never fly.

    You may find Battleground Europe interesting.
  10. WTSherman

    Well so far it's done a decently good job of bringing together people who normally disagree about a lot of things, so I'm optimistic that this is something we can rally the community around. And with the construction system, it's not so distant a goal as it was last time. :D

    One thing that's been bugging me is, I don't know just how much of a vehicle's cost should be in the chassis and how much should be in the equipment. Which in its more fundamental form is, how big should the "newbie discount" for a stock vehicle be?
  11. Reclaimer77

    I didn't even have to read this monster to know it was just another Vehicleside buff post, given the OP's history.

    Ideas like this generally never get read by the Devs, much less put in game. Too many changes, too much work, not enough money.

    Also this:

    I'm trying to think of a response that will reflect the utter insanity of this while not breaking one of our mystical and arbitrary "forum rules". I'll just say I strongly disagree with your obvious attempt to turn this into a vehicle sim while also destroying infantry gameplay.
  12. WTSherman

    Well, there's always one person who's impossible to please. :rolleyes:

    There's nothing mysterious about the forum rules by the way, they're pinned right at the top of General Discussion. Here, I'll even give you a link in case you couldn't find it: You might be particularly interested in section 3.

    All the ammo cost on infantry does is make sure they're part of the system too, so they also have a reason to care about how the faction's economy is doing. They'll still be massively cheap compared to vehicles, especially when you consider how much I'm planning to raise the cost of vehicles by, especially vehicle ammo. At 25 Cortium per shell, an AP cannon almost isn't worth shooting at most infantry!

    Paying 100-200 Cortium for your HA with a full load of rockets is an incredibly good deal when you're using him to pop vehicles worth 6000-7000. Sure, ~1k-2k for C4 is a bit pricey, but still a good deal considering what you're using it for and in relative terms it's no different from what you're spending right now, especially if infantry consumables continue to follow the same rules they do currently (ie you don't have to buy them again until you use them).

    Ammo would have to be bought again with every spawn, but for most classes that'll run you maybe 20 Cortium total, and ammo won't count against your Nanite reserves. Because ammo is so cheap that I'm not expecting any one person to be able to use it fast enough to cause problems.
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  13. AxiomInsanity87

    Isn't that a total ghost town now?.
  14. Reclaimer77

    Look I'm sorry but making infantry pay for each bullet in a shooter is an incredibly BAD idea. Of course you are defending it, because it's your bad idea. But bad idea still bad.

    This spells the absolute DEATH of Planetside, and you somehow can't see that.
  15. WTSherman

    How are resources supposed to mean anything if you don't have anything important to spend them on? Besides, you, personally, won't be paying for ammo. It's just that a specific base only has so much ammo it can give you at once, and making sure your ammo supply is getting refilled is just a tactical factor that you have to consider. Fortunately, any base should be able to sustain quite a large number of infantry for a long time.

    It's no different than how you can only carry so much ammo with you, so you have to look around for terminals or ammo packs sometimes. This is just taking it to another level: the terminal and ammo pack also only have so much, so sometimes you have to find a way to refill them. Or just get it from the Warpgate, which has so much that it's practically unlimited as far as an infantry player is concerned.
  16. AlterEgo

    I don't know. Planetside is my "do whatever you want" game; as such, limited ammo boxes don't sit well with me. I still think resources should have a place with building fortifications/structures, but no more than that.
  17. Reclaimer77

    You know this is a game right? What's missing in all this is the part where this adds fun, or something interesting to the game.

    If I wanted this, I would go back to Economy Online, aka - Eve Online.

    And yes, just admit it. This is a thinly veiled attempt to reduce Infantry AV use and C-4! I mean come on.
  18. WTSherman

    If that was truly the whole reason behind all this, why do you think I make vehicle ammo so much more expensive? This is about reducing spam in general and generating deep, emergent gameplay. C4 in particular sees no change in cost, it costs the same 100 nanites as before after adjusting for scale.

    If a base isn't well stocked enough to pull 100 nanites of C4, then look on the bright side: they don't have enough to pull a 600 nanite vehicle either, so it's become an infantry fight.
  19. Reclaimer77

    Obviously I don't have all the particulars. Because there's no way you should expect anyone to read such a huge wall of text. I mean how about some bullet points??

    Still I'm waiting to hear how this makes the game more fun for me. Adding an economy to an MMOFPS doesn't particularly seem like a great idea. What's in it for me?
  20. Badname707

    That's a stretch. It's just a mechanic that scales against overpopulation locally, which means the more efficient faction will typically have the advantage. It doesn't reduce any one thing, but rather the overuse of everything.
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